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Interregnum 01-02 S2 / Re: Day 16 [2200hrs] A shore for shore leave
Last post by Brutus -
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Turbolift | Various Decks | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Nolan   

For some reason Sarresh was surprised at how gentle Kythalie's touch had been. Medical spray, by design, was cool and soothing, easing the pain and beginning the healing process. But her hand passed along his skin as well, here and there, soft and warm. Welcome. Perhaps he was more touch starved than he'd realized. Ash'reem were a heavily communal species, and one that thrived on contact as much as social presence. Sarresh Morali was a recluse. As much by circumstance as by his own behaviors. Her touch was...pleasant. Brief as it was. 

That gave him something to think about later. For now he refocused on the beauty of Betazed, in holographic form, and the feeling of soft, warm sand under his toes. 

"The planet is mostly water," the former Ash'reem said after a moment of contemplation, in response to the security officers query. He was still looking out at the light reflecting off the water in the near distance. "Until you get into the higher latitudes near the poles, Ash'kara is a typically humid world. More humid than this, certainly. Which for an amphibious species is a boon. For humans," he gestured to the petty officer, "Or Betazoids, I would wager, the humidity might get uncomfortable."

An amused grin at the thought of hiking nude through the jungles of Betazed flashed across Sarresh's features, even as he found himself nodding along in agreement with her statement. Not at all the proper attire, and having gone through the effort to get naked to begin with, he wasn't keen on dressing back up soon. He felt his eyes drift down to her chest, noticing the way she tapped her finger just above her breasts, which of course had him staring at her breasts, albeit briefly. Besides, they'd discussed more intense options on the way over and he lumped hiking in there with rock climbing and hitting the rapids. He'd done enough of that for one day.

"Since there won't be any seas monsters in this program, I think a dip in the waters sounds like an excellent idea," the scientist decided after a moments reflection. "I agree that neither of us are dressed for a hike or climb, and I myself am more inclined to slightly more relaxing endeavors at the moment, after today." Giving her a wane smile, he padded in her direction, till he was within easy reach of her, and nodded to the waters.  "Let's take a swim and see what we want to do from there."

Putting action to his words, he set off down the beach toward the water, feeling the transition from dry sand to wet, and knowing he was leaving a trail of footprints in his wake. Aware that he was ahead of her, he wondered if the caramel skinned woman enjoyed the view of him from behind. Then he remembered that if she wanted to she could read much of his thoughts and decided he'd be better off thinking about swimming than having someone's gaze on him.
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Chapter 3: Stand and Deliver [ Day 1 | 1258 ]
Last post by RyeTanker -
[Lieutenant JG Kala Marika | V1 Engineering | Deck 6 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy] @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @jreeves1701 @Fife @trevorvw @P.C. Haring @Nolan @Juzzie @Eirual @Stegro88

The slim Bajoran Engineer stood at the auxiliary status display and stared at all the readouts as they flooded in from the rest of the ship.  It looked like a lot of information, but it was all fairly routine.  This was a good cover for the engineer since she was officially on her own.  She was diligent and a highly organized individual, but she didn't feel the easy confidence Chief Arnold had or the waves of energetic brilliance that Lieutenant Azrin Ryn had.  As long as she had time to figure things out, she could be described as.....solid.

An enlisted crewman brought over a status report on the matter injectors and being a generalist, she didn't see any real problems with how they were working, so she nodded and went back to gazing at the status board.  Yep, all green like before. she thought to herself.  Everyone was working on something and she felt like she should be doing something, but wasn't sure what.  Despite the repairs and upgrades, they'd drilled the department well so they knew their jobs and with nothing more to do except wait for Donatra to arrive, it was very very boring.

A Senior Petty Officer stopped by and put a cup of tea next to her and she blinked in surprise. The PO nodded and handed her a PADD which she read. Drink your tea occasionally so you don't look so nervous; it read. Lieutenant Kala sucked in her lips and nodded. "Thank you Petty Officer." To which he nodded and went on his way.  She dutifully took her cup and took a sip. Hmmm, must slow down how fast I drink the tea or I'm going to be using the head a lot. A small grin formed on her face and she held a bit tighter on to the cup, feeling much better with something to do with her hands.

Head = bathroom
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan
Last post by Krajin -
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Dominic happily continued with the new forms up until he landed a blow to Cross’ shoulder and he quickly took to watching how the Vulcan reacted to the hit. He is unharmed! Good! When Cross was ready to get back into it, Dominic began to adjust his approach to the sparring again to make things interesting. Cracking his neck in a slightly intimidating manner Dom adopted into his stance which for Krav Maga was pretty average at best and filled with flaws at worst for his build and body shape.

“So you got your cock augmented with ridges for... Aesthetics?” He asked slightly surprised. But then again it wasn’t as surprising as many would think. Dom had heard of others who got certain augments done to themselves for cosmetics purposes. “Okay. That is not the vainest thing I have heard as you just got something you are used to put back where you remember it being. Nothing wrong with that.” He stepped in to start with the motions. He mixed it up with a push, trip, or a surprisingly gentle throw to the ground that didn’t end with an impact as Dom would catch the man by the shirt or limb.

“Considering I’ve known men who had gotten themselves augmented when they learned that the Caitan, Ferasan, or otherwise that their girlfriend had dated prior was on average bigger than them. Or they have other reasons for size augments." He chuckled lightly. “At least you didn’t get a tattoo on it, especially one of a currency you are familiar with.” Well, this sparring match took a fascinating turn of talking about penis augmentation! “Don’t think of it as vain though, or try not to mate. Think it more as a means of helping you adjust and adapt into becoming whole of mind, body and spirit.”

He could pick up on the headache, the need to perhaps think and keep both sides engaged. “From my limited understanding, Krav Maga teaches you how to react. Think quick!” He would step in close to Cross’ personal space with his left hand snapping out to grab him by the left arm and in an attempt, to shift the Vulcan while the Kzint hybrid got behind and attempted to wrap his right arm around the other’s neck while pulling his left arm down. Dominic is not employing his strength to any degree here beyond the minimum. This was purely to engage the Vulcan’s mind into something surprising and let him flex and escape.

However he would do it, Dom’s features lit up in happiness even if the reaction might be a bit bad. He still got the man to react!

“I relate to your position with foot in mouth! But do not undervalue yourself in any way when it comes to women. Confidence comes with experience and time.” He added.

“Why the cockpit? Long story Short. I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. Battle of Toros III I flew the Akira like I stole it from start to finish of that battle. Akira was stuck at Utopia Planetia for repairs since it got savaged despite it all and I joined the first Peregrine Squadrons on the Thunderball. There’s a certain freedom to flying on your own in such a vessel. The views, the expanse.” He looked to be reminiscing on the whole thing.

“Every time I go out is a test and I don’t need to hold back. High G turns, reactions at a pace I can push and more. It’s an experience. There’s allot to it.” Glancing over to Cross. “Why Tactical?”
Director's Cut / Re: (2381) USS Theurgy: Got My Mind Set on You
Last post by joshs1000 -
[CPO Avandar Lok | Counseling Offices | Deck 13 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Juzzie

Lok’s keen yellow eyes fell on the shorter man and his striped brow raised in surprise. Not old, bald, or pudgy, he thought to himself, -no, young and handsome. He felt a tinge more nervous because of this. It was one thing to have a counselor you got along with, it was another to find one who, for him anyway, was pleasing on the eyes, and Rhys certainly was pleasing. Another form of nervousness struck him however, one that wasn’t his own, it was familiar, the kind he sensed everyday from those who didn’t know him, he almost filed it away without thought until he realized it was from his new counselor.

“Uh, sure”, he said at the offered chair, all the while he focused on the emotions that Rhys put out into the room, Lok was curious. As much as they would like you think, counselors, therapists, shrinks, they weren’t neutral balanced unimposing statues, but people who had emotions, sometimes quite strong in the midst of a heavy session. And while the counselor was studying Lok, Lok was in turn, studying them, not prying, most of the time, but merely gauging their reactions.

He pulled a couple comfy throw pillows from the plush chair to give himself a bit of room, setting one of the floor and one on his lap as he sat down. It was a bit of a tight fit but he wasn’t uncomfortable, though he did worry the chair might collapse under his weight as it gave several groans in protest. He also ended up tossing the other pillow aside as well, his propensity to unconsciously knead the fabric with his claws would end up costing the handsome counselor a pillow.

“Nice to meet you Rhys, I go by Lok rather than Avandar…just was always easier and faster, only my family calls me Avandar.”

He gave a soft kind smile to sort of ease any potential tension at him being Kzin; most people had a certain number of expectations of Lok on first meeting him, aggression and anger specifically.

Rhys offered to get him a drink, to which Lok responded without any hesitation, “Coffee, black..uh if you tell it Kzinti size, it replicates a much bigger cup of it.” Then came the question that essentially boiled down to “why are you here”.

“Well”, Lok started, his ears folding back a bit as his yellow eyes, originally intently, perhaps uncomfortably, focussed on Rhys, looked away to anything in the room the large man could speak his thoughts to rather than the handsome counselor himself. He spied a model ship, just over Rhys’s shoulder, a rather well done one, clearly not replicated, he could spy the tiniest hints of glue and the tell tale signs of brush strokes when the light hit the paint just right.

“Well I just thought, with everything calmed down, I should see someone…I was in cryo-stasis for six months and went back to work about an hour after I woke up like nothing happened, from what I understand that isn’t exactly healthy…or normal.”

He tried his best to inject some humor and casualness into that opening statement, but now that it was made and invisible filled the space between the two he could turn his gaze back to the counselor. To help focus his own empathic abilities but also just to study the man’s movements, how he carried himself. His mother always told him that most of the time one didn’t even need to sense an emotion to tell what somebody was feeling. He continued.

“I’ve done these before and the talking helps…I guess it’s just finding the motivation to come down here is the first hurdle. So uh yeah, that’s why I’m here, just to talk some things out I guess about what’s going on.”
Alternate Universe Stories / Re: Sprinkles on a Soup Sandwich
Last post by Hans Applegate -
[ LCpl Knox | Bravo Base | Gila DN6 | Imperium Frontier Space ]ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Knox heard the conversation Hirek was having with Lt. Madsen. He knew they were in for absolute chaos. Seeing her blades, Knox shivered. He had no intention of getting close enough to bugs for using a blade if he could help it. He decided to grab just a few more grenades. Also as an afterthought he picked up an extra bandoleer of ammo for is bead rifle. The extra 1,500 metallic ceramic beads might be useful if the grenades ran out.
Jogging to catch up to the group Knox admired Lt. Madsen’s fine ass. Yep! Ladies should always go first. What a view. He was looking forward to having his way with one of the new sex bots when he got back. Not that fucking a real girl was not fun and all, but bots were much less problematic out of the bedroom. Actually there were no problems out of the bedroom with a bot since he didn’t ever see one when he wasn’t fucking it. Real women felt better. But real women came with lots of issues he didn’t want to deal with while on a deployment. So he decided he would just be a window shopper for now.

Joining the other’s on the tarmac, Knox shoved a 300 round magazine into his bead rifle and dropped the remaining 1,200 rounds of that bandoleer into his small assault pack with the other full Bandoleer and 15 extra grenades. He had 5 grenades and a bead pistol on his chest armor and battle belt.

Knox took one look back at Lt. Madsen as Lt. Sobel was walking up and whispered under his breath. “You think we stand a chance with Mr. Paperwork and Ms. Crazy coming along on the same mission?”
Knox straightened up as Lt. Sobel arrived. He quickly glanced at the other six men and noted what equipment they had opted for. Sniper rifles! The other guys all had sniper rifles! What the actual fuck was going on?? Sniper rifles for 6 guys was unheard of. Then one Lt. who happened to know what was happening had blades! Knox hated to be the last to know things. Especially if those things were actively trying to kill him.

Director's Cut / Re: [2373] USS Renegade: It's a working holiday challorn, anything can happen
Last post by RyeTanker -
[ Commander Lin's office | USS Renegade]

It was well into the evening when the chime sounded. "Enter!" he called and the familiar form of Chief Zangari walked in.  "You asked to see me sir?" He asked in his usual deep and accented version of Federation standard.  A tight grin pulled at the Asian Security Chief's mouth.  "This was scheduled so don't act like it so sudden."  The Chief grinned back, but was quite punctilious about protocol at times, so he waited for Commander Lin to invite him to sit.  It wasn't a long wait as he was waived to a seat opposite the desk.  Lin didn't bother waiting for Zengari to take a seat before turning around to a cabinet and pulling a dark brown bottle with a long neck. Zengari arched an eyebrow inquisitively. "Saurian Brandy?" Lin placed two clear glasses between them and poured the viscous golden liquid. "Indeed, and only the best." After a couple of fingers were poured in each glass, the two men clinked and sipped, a long established tradition before they got down to business. 

"So, how did she do?"  Zengari smiled.  "You do have the rest of the department to worry about sir rather than one errant cadet." Commander Lin snorted his amusement. "She's also the XO's daughter and the newest addition to the crew, so stop evading and answer the question." The Chief shrugged. "She did fine."  This caused Commander Lin to pause with his glass part way to his mouth and gave the Chief a measuring look.  He took a quick sip then put his cup down. "Okay, we both know that tone. he started as he set the glass down and crossed his arms on the desk. "She did more than okay didn't she? Almost handed you your ass on platter I'd venture?" Commander Lin's grin turned into a small smile. Zengari gave a matching grin. "Not even close sir, but she does have potential.  We can review the video." he offered and the Commander nodded as he pulled up the relevant portion of training.

When the video came up in its paused form, Commander Lin's eyebrows rose.  "Please tell me you got her to change first." Big shoulders shrugged. "Can't.  It's one of those odd dispensations from Starfleet, not often used, but still on the books.  Andorian's can wear lighter for hard training." The security chief looked back incredulously. "She quoted the regulation sir and I looked it up.  She's right."  Commander Lin exhaled with acquiescence even as he thought. She's gonna be trouble.  The fight helmet was definitley sensible, but the tank top and capris shorts showed off a lot of blue and the effect was noticeable as several men and women from all species stopped to watch the vision cautiously walk onto a mat where the Chief stood waiting with his arms crossed.  The two stood facing each other and if he'd really wanted to, Commander Lin could have isolated and listened in on the conversation, but that wasn't the purpose of the review and he waited patiently while occasionally sipping on his brandy.

After a few more moments, the two separated and took up positions a few meters from each other.  A crowd gathered and from his guess, the security chief guessed it was to see the newbie, but mostly to watch the Chief Zengari demolish her.  In a good natured fashion of course.  There wasn't too much expected as the two moved towards each other and began circling each other.  Zark didn't seem to be a fool as Zengari started off jabbing at her while the smaller woman dodged out of the way, or deflected a few punches and kicks that got too close.  She held out for a good few minutes, playing defensive, and he inexperience showed as Lin noted several places he would have taken pot shots at the Chief to keep him off balance.  The image of the Chief seemed to have run out of patience as he surged forward in a blur that caught the Andorian by surprise and her body bent from a punch to her mid section followed by a knee to the head that brought her back up quickly.  Big black arms wrapped around her and Commander had to wince as the lithe blue woman was smacked into the mat.  Several other agreed with the sentiment as their bodies naturally recoiled.  A few placed hands in front of their faces, while others clapped.  The chief got off the cadet and offered his hand to her to help her up and she hesitated for a moment before accepting it.  The hand-to-hand instructor placed his hands on his hips and spoke to the cadet for a few moments and she shook her head from side to side, then nodded vigorously.  She seemed to be bursting to stand on her tippy toes so she could try and match the Chief's height like she wasn't going to back down.

The test seemed to go on longer than expected as Zengari and Zark went at it with each other.  The Andorian got a several shots in and managed to knock down the Chief a couple of times.  The first time didn't elicit much comment, anyone could get lucky.  The second one elicited a chuckle as Lin took a sip of brandy and paused the video. "Losing your touch Chief?" The Chief offered a tight smile as he took another sip. "She's got guts and talent sir, what can I say, she really wanted to get at me."  Commander Lin made a come forth gesture to get more details ad Zengari gave a small shrug. "She's going to have an interesting set of bruises and leave a bit of a bloody rag, but she did get close more than I expected." Lin nodded at this assessment."Did you take part in any of the martial competitions during training?"  Zengari took a sip and nodded while his eyebrows narrowed at the non-sequitor. "I checked her record at the Academy, and she had quite the fight in the ring with a Vulcan. Miss zh'Ptrell won by the skin of her teeth on points, but it was noted that both fighters had to visit the infirmary afterwards."  Commander Lin gave a smile.  "Our feisty Andorian spent some time throwing up after the fight, and her opponent needed to have her nose fixed." Chief Zengari nearly choked on his brandy at hearing how violent the contest had gotten.

That gave the Commander an idea and he began watching how the Andorian moved when she got close to the Chief and the hand to hand expert sat as he let his boss think as he watched the replay.  "She seems a bit stiff doesn't she?" he pronounced afterwards.  Commander Lin tapped the desk for a moment.  The answer was in front of him.  He was sure of it. There was something in the way she moved that indicated a greater potential than the stolid dogmatic movements of the boxing ring.  The Security Chief's eyes narrowed as he pulled up her short service record and scanned it quickly.  The answer seemed to pop out as he looked at her extra-curricular activities. "Chief, I think we need a movie night." This was not what the enlisted chief was expecting and he replied with an understandable "Sir?" Commander Lin turned back to him and took another sip. "We need to expand this young woman's cultural breadth to properly appreciate something besides the holodeck, something like movies.  Zengari's stomach began to sink. "You don't mean..."  Commander Lin gave a tight smile.  "Indeed I do, she's got the combination, so in the next few days, she's going to watch The Avengers and learn to fight like the Black Widow."  At hearing the title of the movie, Chief Zengari stifled a groan at the new round of art related madness his boss was going to infict on himself and the XO's daughter. 
Parallel Universes - "What if?" / Re: Theurgy: What If...? Below Decks Lounge
Last post by RyeTanker -
[Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark) | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | Holosuite 01| USS Theurgy] @AbsintheDeux @Dumedion @Juzzie @Dree

Zark naturally leaned in towards the Shen as she got closer and smiled easily as she listened to how Reika had transformed herself from the proverbial angry duckling to a graceful swan as a stray thought caused the Shen to plow past the question to how her own experiences with martial arts.  The medic could definitely agree that the ability to defend oneself without unduly injuring someone was very helpful in conflict resolution.  Her smile took on a more humorous glint as a memory bubbled its way to the surface from her time at the Academy.

"I'm with Security, but as a medic, I also get all the wonderful extra training to help patch up people long enough on missions till the proper doctors can help them."  Zark leaned in a bit to whisper into Reika's ear like sharing a naughty secret. "I can do a lot of the procedures that surgeons do in the field, but Medical doesn't like to admit that most medics
are trained that way."
  The Zhen pulled back and winked then pursed her lips and placed a finger in front of her closed lips.  The sound of air rushing passed her lips was quite audible as she smiled again. 

"Our Zhavey's really are quite remarkable, though mine probably wishes I'd chosen something more sedate, but what can I say; I love the action, even if it has almost killed me a few times." Zark continued as she waited for her drink.  "My Zhavey isn't really good at fighting to be honest..." The Zhen corrected. "She gave up blue to wear command red.  Started out in the sciences, but she was more of an explorer than a researcher and had a great touch with people, which is how she got tagged for executive officer of the renegade.  She didn't have time to worry just about me, so she dumped me on her Security Chief.  Let him sort me out.  Last we talked, she was taking a Luna class towards the galactic core on a five year mission."

Zark was about to ask about Reika's family when the Shen offered her own glass to help quench her thirst from all the talking she'd done so far. The Zhen smiled and thanked the Shen.  Taking the mug, she turned it around and took a sip right where the Ops woman had been drinking while keeping her gaze on Reika's eyes.  It was only a sip, and the burned and blossomed as she'd expected it to.  Her lips gripped the rim of the cup in a semi subtle kiss of the rim before the mug was placed back beside Reika's hand on the bar.  Zark's own sense of friendly impulsiveness kicked in as she snaked her arm around Reika's and her wrist came to rest on top of the Shen's.  This had to bring the two bodies closer as Zark's arm was now linked with Reika's, but not holding hands. Yet.  It also brought the Zhen's leather legging clad hip in contact with the Shen's leather skirt.  The view seemed to have an effect somewhere as someone cursed as their drink spilled while passing by. Xenia arrived and deposited the mug with the blue liquid in front of Zark and she gracefully picked up the mug with her opposite hand, raising it to Reika's for her to return the cheers.
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Ch 4: S [D01 |1830] Second Station from the right and straight on till its over
Last post by RyeTanker -
[Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann (Lt. zh'Wann or Ida) | Aerodrome | Erudite | Hobus System] @Tae @Eden @ob2lander961

Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann frowned at the plan the Wolf was proposing.  It wasn't the worst idea that she'd heard and in the absence of anything else, the shuttle crew wouldn't have a choice but to go along with it.  She was frowning more over the what she remembered from the Academy about the disastrous consequences of the strike on the 3 Gorges Dam since the US military hadn't been able to totally knock out communications and word had gotten to the leadership of the group leading China at the time.  It had been a case of demonstrating the need to maintain open lines of communication and keep them secured.  The petrified reports from NORAD of retaliatory ballistic missiles had been quite shocking to all the students in class and it hadn't helped that the airborne assault had been a bloody shambles in the face of fierce and unexpected resistance, and the nuking of one of the landing zones.

Lt. zh'Wann stopped for a moment as an exuberant and short pilot joined while making sure she was going to be part of the mission.  The Andorian quirked an eyebrow fervently hoped to avoid any nasty fates since they were placing all their eggs in a few baskets.  Weapons wouldn't amount to much on a shuttle, so there was no need to power those.  "Whatever you're going to do to the fighters, we'll also need it done to the shuttle.  While I hope to avoid any fights, we may have to shoot our way in as well." 

The mission commander stopped for a moment as she worked out the ground component's plan. "So you'll have to breach shuttle bay doors, or an area of the hull that has access to a command node.  Barring that, we'll need access to an area with major computing power.  If we can sneak our way in, all the better, but otherwise, we'll need to fort up while the engineers and scientists can pull any useful information, the find a way to self-destruct the place."  Ida took a moment to look around at the pilots who were going to need to keep their exfiltration route clear.  "And in the mean time, whatever ideas you have to keep your selves alive so we can all get out of the station, voice them now." 

Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1435 hrs] When Trolls Dance, Vulcans Growl
Last post by Ellen Fitz -
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Sickbay | D. 21 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @EnigmaTales

He hadn’t even thought of his senses being a part of the problem, and now he felt like an idiot. Of course, they could be! He’d started using a nasal numbing hypospray, recommended by Hathev, only a few days prior and had yet to figure out what to do with all the noises the ship and its crew were giving off. He highly doubted there was such a thing as an auditor number, at least not one that would still allow him to do his job effectively.

“I think I’m good for now. Thank you for your time and efficiency.” Cross hesitated at her request for a recommendation. He only really knew one counselor on a more intimate basis than most. “I’ll be upfront with you. I only know Lieutenant Commander Hathev well, though the whole department has high ratings. Right now, though, with our vectors hither and thither and yon, whoever you can find should work. You should have access to their professional files to ‘browse’ the options and if you prefer, wait till we’re all back in one piece and go for the one you feel most comfortable with.” He gave a mirthless chuckle. “As for the judging, I can assure you there isn’t a person on this ship qualified to judge anyone for having put something off, like getting counseling. We all have our ghosts that we’d rather not tango with.”

Giving himself one more once over, he shifted toward the door, “If that’s all, I should return to the bridge.”
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan
Last post by Ellen Fitz -
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

Winters was good with his tail sweep additions to the sparring. He appreciated the variations as they kept him physically engaged while the conversation tugged at his mind. He supposed this duality was part of what his body needed to keep the headaches at bay since so many of the traditional Vulcan meditation techniques were a mixture of honing the two, physical and mental. Cross worked to keep the grin neutral, not wanting to confuse the Kzinti with his beam of delight.

“I don’t want my heart surgeon to be mussed with emotions while she’s cutting into me. Likewise, I don’t want my pilot to give in to crippling insecurities while we’re in the midst of an escape. The emotional or philosophical concepts of honor and respect can only be manifested after the crisis is adverted and you are presented with enough of a lull to use the empathy or emotions or what have you to assess. Like you said, having to make the hard choices sucks balls, and it isn’t healthy to try to moralize them at any time really, not if you want a long career in command. You keep yourself highly trained, keep yourself up to date and on the cutting edge of what’s out there, stay informed, know your people, and employ the tactics you believe fit the scenarios. I see it as more precision and follow-through than inviting discussions on the morality of honor and respect. Granted, the precision, follow-through, and preparation before the crisis can and should be based on a values system suitable for the culture. And, of course, our values system may come into discord with another culture’s, hence the crisis.”

Cross appreciated the brief lull in the conversation and sparring to do a few stretches and bounces to loosen up before Winters launched into another set and adjusted the conversation accordingly.

"Loosely connected to the ear-obsession, I have to confess one of the vainest things I ever did was not about my ears but about my cock.” Cross chuckled. “When the Savi ‘fixed’ me, my Bajoran physical features receded, including the ridges on my cock. So, thinking that it may help me adjust to being in this new version of me, I went to have the ridges on my cock surgically…reinstalled? In any case, it was one of the most awkward procedures of my life.”

He waited while Winters laughed, the rhythm of the sparring thrown off momentarily. Cross laughed at the mental image the Kzint drew for him.

“It isn’t the hormonal shit for me. I never really had the same issues with pon farr or only wanting to fuck once every seven years. I just crash and burn when it comes to talking romantically with women. To the point that aside from potential drunken escapades I still don’t remember and my own hand, I never scored until just this year. It is a sheer miracle that I managed to score the woman I'm with now. She's far superior to me in so many ways, and she deals with my foot-in-mouth syndrome whenever we talk about anything unrelated to work, which is a testimony to her good graces.”

Cross laughed, earning himself a knock to the shoulder for his lowered guard. Aside from reeling back a few steps, he was unharmed and waved a hand to reassure Winters as such.

“Why the cockpit, if you don’t mind my asking?”
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